The Office of Development’s “Campaign for UCSB” project received nearly $35 million in private donations during the 2010-2011 academic year.

The drive to encourage funding from alumni, individuals, foundations and corporations brought in almost $10 million less than the $44.5 million collected last year, though alumni donations increased by $1 million. Though private endowments decreased sharply from $81 million in 2007-2008 to $40 million the following year, the campaign has collected a total of roughly $623 million since its induction in 2000 to finance campus needs like maintenance projects, faculty research and scholarship support.

According to the Office of Development, roughly $13 million of this year’s endowments came from foundations, $11 million from individuals and $8 million from corporations.

Chancellor Henry T. Yang said the money allows the university to create new scholarships and graduate fellowships.

“During this challenging economic time, it is very encouraging and inspiring to us that our campus has seen a substantial increase in alumni giving and support for students,” Yang said in an e-mail. “Over the course of our Campaign, we have been able to create 172 new graduate fellowships so far, and have raised an estimated $12 million for undergraduate scholarships.”

However, the Office of Development reported that only $585,000 of this year’s financial gifts to UCSB will go directly toward financial aid and scholarships. In addition, only $2.1 million of the $35 million UCSB received in 2010-2011 were unrestricted funds.

The process for allocating the donations involves surveying administrations from all campus programs and departments about their priorities for the year, according to Acting Senior Director of Development in Campaign Operations Jennifer Purcell Deacon. Representatives from the Office of Development then meet with the donors and determine their interests so as to match the funds to a suitable need.

Deacon said the process attempts to satisfy the school’s needs and the donor’s personal concerns.

“It is called a comprehensive campaign,” Deacon said. “Deans and directors of campus departments and programs articulate their highest priorities, which are then represented to the donors. The majority of the money comes from individuals and family foundations but corporations also make up a significant portion.” The donors maintain control of where their donations go as long as their wishes are consistent with the university’s goals, according to Deacon.

“We ask them what would be powerful and memorable to them and that’s what we try to do,” Deacon said. “If someone came up with an idea inconsistent with the campus’s vision or mission obviously we would not implement that.”

In addition, the UC Office of the President plans to increase its reliance on private funding due to a growing decline in state financing.

UC Office of the President Media Specialist Diana Klein said the UC administration aims to broaden the amount of private donations that count as unrestricted funds in order to give the university system greater flexibility with the funding. In 2009-2010, unrestricted allocations comprised only two percent of bequests system-wide.

“We are hoping to expand the role of private donations to the system as a whole and increase the amount that goes into unrestricted funds,” Klein said. “Not to say that we will turn down restricted funds, but unrestricted funds are more helpful in creating scholarships and helping students cover tuition costs directly.”